Q. I have just returned to federal civil service after being away for 4½ years. I have made a lump-sum deposit for those 4½ years. If I retire tomorrow, how will my high-3 salary be calculated? Would it reflect the salary tables for 2008 to 2012 — the years I was away — or would my actual salary from 2004 to 2007 be used?

A. Your high-3 would be based on the average of the highest three consecutive years of basic pay you actually received, not what you would have received if you’d been at work.


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Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

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